painting

Naked Chaos \ Vad art kiállítás

I was lucky enough, as an artist who adores drawing nudes, to recently have six girls pose naked for me in one sitting. The space was small and alcohol had been consumed, as you can imagine the scene was a little chaotic and the chances of keeping anybody still for the amount of time to capture an accurate representation of the scene before me were slim to naught. 

However an opportunity to represent the scenario arose in the form of a bubbly and determined Irish girl who goes by the name of Dervla who happened to be hosting what she called a 'Wild Art" Exhibition. Somehow, Dervla had managed to get her hands on a fairly large apartment and permission to paint on alllllll of the walls and she was recruiting artists to fill the space with both paintings and unique, temporary art. Naturally the Painters Palace was a solid point of call and a few of us got together and took over one room of the apartment. We each took our own section of wall and started painting a few days before the exhibition. I had the idea in mind of what style I wanted to implement to show the chaos, the movement, the intertwining limbs from that night with the English girls. I did not do any preliminary sketches, other than the drawings from the 90 minute session. Working in this style is a very impulsive and intuitive process, I find that trying to build the picture before you meet the canvas can intrude on an organic and spontaneous outcome. Therefore I dwell on the idea of the scenario/memory, what I found interesting, the conversations between the subjects (which were extremely fascinating), less on the real form or identities of the girls themselves but most importantly, thinking about the actual process of the painting, down to the brush strokes, in forms of movements that translate into marks that make the picture. Little moments of memory come to me as I create, like the side of a thigh running into the curve of the calf, the expression or tilt on ones face and it seems the as the moments come to me, I have to realise and compose them on the wall. As the exhibition was only intended to be one night I held back on refining every detail of the painting and rather looked for an overall harmony in the piece which ended up being roughly 4m wide and 2.4m tall.

Big Thanks to Dervla and everybody that was involved with the event. It was a huge success with attendance around 700 over the space of 5 hours, which in my book is pretty funking incredible for a first time event! For more info on the exhibition, the artists and works involved plus upcoming events > check here.

Below you can see the finished result, followed by the piece in context of the other works in the space, and then some shots of the process. As always, Enjoy.                                    

Final Piece.

Final Piece.

In context.

In context.

The process.

Portrait \ Audy a.k.a. Cumi Laut

Arriving home from a spontaneous night in one of Budapest seedy club areas Audy agreed to sit, or in this case lie, for a portrait. I was really in the mood for painting and tired of drawing myself in the mirror plus Audy's technicolored hairdo gets me excited! Here are the results.

Oil on Canvas Board, 30x20cm.

"Thats a Wrap." / Painting the movies.

For sometime now they have been shooting some movies in my area, as I walk to and from my house I see shooting in action. First of all it's great because I love films and seeing the makin gof them is a pleasure, I love the extremes that blockbuster shows push in terms of amount of technology, equipment and coordination, the whole operation is a performance in itself. However what I always happen to see is people (usually extras dressed in full costume) standing around waiting for their call to scene. Now this is where I see opportunity, they would make perfect models in costume especially now as they seem to filming two period pieces set in 1920's. People everywhere dressing in ornate hats and dresses, surrounded by horses and carriages in these smokey ethereal street scenes. 

Today the opportunity to paint these scenes metaphorically slapped me in the face and quite literally landed on my doorstep. Right outside my studio on the Brody Sandor in Budapest, the whole of the Vas Utca was cornered off for filming. The street was hung with oversized Hungarian flags, which instantly reminded me of Monet's Paris scene with French flags flying everywhere. There were small legions of foot officers or soldiers, I couldn't see from the distance and the smoke and also there where troops on horse back riding up and down the street. The rest I hope the pictures will explain. 

This is the final painting from the day. I gave the painting away to a young security guard who took an interest in it. 5 Minutes later, the special effects guy gets a call saying the Oscar award winning director, László Nemes, wanted the painting. Shucks, could have met a super star.

GALLERIES ARE DEAD \ Long live the Painters Palace.

  I set off on an adventure to travel and draw, I had a dream of opening studios. Studios to accommodate drawing and painting but most importantly studios with open doors and public participation. All in the aim of supporting and connecting travelling or local artists on their journeys but most importantly, studios that support and to every extent encourage, the creation of art itself, by anybody who feels that desire to create.

The magic of art is lost in galleries. And the connection between audience and artist severed. They are dead spaces with (not often enough) some nice "art" on the walls. My studios would be tactile and approachable, inviting not only the artists inside to work but the laymen, the public, the people who normally would not have the connection to art, artist or 'the process'. There is a little bit of artist in all of us and I want my spaces to nourish that character.

Im writing this post as it so happens to be the one year anniversary of the first major step towards my dream. I came to Budapest little over a year ago to open my first studio, I arrived with my Dutch brother Jesse, who wanted to help build something special. Armed with big ideas and a crumbling basement we set upon opening the Painters Palace. An open studio space in the centre of Budapest where people could feel free to be themselves, create their art and connect with others along the way. 

It's been a truly great year, most days we have welcomed people from all over world through our doors. (This is great because if I'm not travelling go its nice having the world to come to me instead.) During the first year establishing a core group of artists was key to keep the paint of the palace flowing, thanks to this core group the studio has hosted a multitude of events beyond the realm of drawing/painting sessions and workshops. From concerts, jams and recordings, markets, parties (may we not forget Indian New Year...). From all this the Painters Palace has inspired life and art in people, it has brought them together and forged tight friendships. Encouraging all to be and express themselves. 

Don't get me wrong, it has by no means been a breeze. Reality is that 99% of the big ideas you have at the beginning of a process do not come to fruition in the first year of operation or in other cases tested and proven to be a sour tact. But that's just life, you win some and you lose some. For now my aim is to keep the palace rocking the best I can, we will see what comes of it.  

So Happy Birthday to my studio, may the Painters Palace live forever! 

Sneak peak from the party:

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It was a great party to celebrate, we had food, drinks, life drawings, portraits and Palinka Republic took the rook of the place with their epic upbeat tunes which eventually lead to the police being called and party time capped! Thankyou to all those who came down, and to all those that have made the palace what it is, no matter how big or how small your contribution, it is invaluable! 

Trip to Taka Tuka

This week I visited one of my favourite places on this planet!

Taka Tuka is an island on the river Danube in Kimle (Hungary). It is owned by friends of mine who host a festival there every year for the last 2 years. Prior to the festival there is a period of build up, as there is no infrastructure on the island (water, electricity etc.) so everything needs building.

This year there has been a huge improvement, with a more permanent bar and kitchen area built up, improvements have been made to the toilets and tree house, new paths have been forged from the reeds and now, for the first time, there is running water thanks to a well that the boys installed! 

Of corse I helped as much as a I could, but it was no secret that I wanted to paint. I got my chance, from one of my favourite views of the island, seen from the beach looking upstream. Its a view that if you've seen once, you will never forget it.

Session 1: I spent about 2 hours on location working gout the composition and general colours.

Session 2/3: After bringing the painting home I worked more into the brush and directional marks. whilst building contrast and definition into the trees. 

 

 

work in progress: robodon \ may'17

Sometimes I think I'm a terrible person, I start a painting and sometimes the struggle to the finish is marred by unforeseen difficulties or (especially in oil painting) long breaks for drying and layering or just plain old thinking.

Here I have one of those paintings that fits both those moulds. I started this painting in May last year(2016), completed the under drawing work in the better part of an hour, worked on painting persistent small tones with a tiny palette knife on a large canvas, and then I hit a point. A point I hit with some pieces', a point where I don't know where to go next, and usually if I hit this point I have a system, I Set the work aside to rest. I take it out of my immediate working area and sit it where I can see it and leave it to my subconscious to figure out the direction and the fixes to be made for a finished piece.


I get the initial lines and composition done in roughly an hour whilst the model sat. I used charcoal and a damp brush to block in big areas. It's the first time, I believe, that I had to walk and draw a line at the same time, if you haven't tried it, I recommend. (Picture 1) if you notice I realised (too late) that I did not leave enough space at the side of the canvas for the stretching process, a silly over sight but lesson learnt.

By the last image in the above series I had built my own frame and stretched the canvas, its incredible how much of difference this makes! (Picture 4) This is how the painting stayed for a few months, before I blew of the dust and went at again with renewed vigour and alternate vision.

This is the painting as it stands. As you can see, I completely re thought the background which was influenced by a painting I did in the mean time.

Inspired by Impressionists \ Painting the Museum Garden.

After indulging myself in a 3part/hour documentary of the impressionist movement, I got a inner burning to take my easel outdoors again and paint like the pioneers of this colourful style. 

The documentary focussed mainly around Monet as he is considered the father of impressionism, but also includes the stories of Degar, Manet, Cezanne and a few other characters central to this artistic revolution.

I decided I wanted to use a limited palette today, and build the numerous colours from a stable base of primaries. The colours I had on my board were.....!!!!  I began the painting at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and could only paint until 5pm before the light had changed too much. So I went back the next day.

unfortunately I did not take a photo of day two progression.   

A week later after being away I managed to get back to the museum to continue.  

Its amazing how in just a week the scene had changed. the foliage on the trees had become less dense, he yellow/orange I was seeing burn through the Center tree had diminished significantly. Alas, I continued. 

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day 3 (total time painting 5/6 hours) 

painting \ mum's birthday present

Im sure that every person, at some point in their lives has, in some way, failed their parents expectations on their birthday. If you're anything like me then this feeling can become somewhat of an annual event! 

My mum has done so much for me growing up and still continues now. Being a 24 year old painting living abroad she still manages to do the simplest, nicest little things that make my life just that little bit easier. This year I was determined not to fail at the birthday giving, I was going to produce more than the three rings of a phone call and a chirp birthday song. I had an eureka moment whilst parked in a small cafe in Amsterdam. Armed, for some strange reason, with a small piece of squared paper I birthed the idea of this paternal embrace. I wanted to convey an idea that the mother figure, despite distorting herself with the aim of comforting her child, maintained an eternal state of bliss. As if some how blindly guided to a place of serenity.

Luckily at that time had had a 1x1m square canvas lying in the studio. 

I got to work!

The tragedy is that due to the heavy, thick oil painting I laid onto this thing plus the pigment laid in oil, I was unable to deliver the painting to my mother for the intended birthday and had to wait one whole year whilst it dried. Eventually I got to hand deliver the painting and surprise my mum by showing up on her doorstep at the same time! The funniest thing had to be the dominance of the painting in the modest cottage bedroom of my mum and her husband. Sorry Andy!!

Mum, if you're reading this, I hope you enjoy your painting and sorry for all the shit presents in the past. I love you so much :) 

Wall Art \ Hostel 1, Budpest

Recently the Painters Palace was asked to add some excitement and colour to the white walls of the newly renovated hostel. This was my contribution, right newt to the reception.

I used some good quality acrylic paint and finished with markers. Overall I think the piece is about 2m by 2m. 

Stadspaleis & I \ mini documentary

A lovely bunch a film making students recently fell in love with the adorable cafe, Het Stadspaleis. They asked very politely if they would be able to make a documentary of the place, me and how it came to be.

Thankyou guys for the great documentary, it really captures the stads-vibe. A slightly embarrassing first film experience for me. I think it shows...